How often do you experience the ‘feel good’ factor in your organisation? That is, your employees are enthusiastically participating in team meetings; bringing fresh ideas to the table; and smiling, laughing or sharing an easy camaraderie on the floor. Or, do they simply carry out instructions and operate without actually being engaged?
If the latter is more prevalent in your organisation, chances are that your employees are not humming a happy tune. It could be a sign that they don’t feel excited, motivated or connected to their workplace. As a result, they may not contribute as much as they could to the team except for carrying out the same work day after day. It is likely that they are not ‘mentally’ into their work and what’s worse, they may be very unhappy working in your team. End result? Lower employee morale and reduced productivity.
For a leader, that can be a very uncomfortable revelation. A leader is not only supposed to drive his or her team members, but also needs to keep them happy and engaged. A leader needs to nurture the team, provide an enjoyable workplace and build positive relationships. After all, when people feel accepted, encouraged and happy, they become more motivated which leads to higher productivity.
Here are a few ways you can help promote positivity in the team:
Sitting behind an enclosed cubicle, communicating with your team members through emails and messages doesn’t encourage human interaction.
- Meet your employees and get to know them. Ask them about their goals, career aspirations and personal interests. These small interactions go a long way in making your employees feel heard and good about themselves. After all, everyone loves a genuine interest in the other aspects of their lives other than just work.
- Promote an open door policy, where employees don’t hesitate to walk up to their supervisors whenever a situation requires it.
- Keep the communication channels open and unbiased. Secrets only lead to unhealthy competition and thus, demotivate the team.
Endorse training and self-development
To continue doing the same work in the same manner is no longer feasible in today’s changing world. Technology is evolving rapidly and constantly demanding organisations to remain on top of these changes. Employees to evolve as well. It is therefore imperative for organisations to keep abreast of the changes and train their employees accordingly. Encourage employees to develop their soft skills by organising face-to-face trainings, peer-to-peer trainings, mentoring, eLearning, etc. These opportunities for self-development help employees learn and grow, and help the organisation be more productive.
Show your appreciation
The difference between a good team and a great team is its leader. And if you don’t appreciate your employees for a job well done, imagine the let down they may feel. A simple ‘thank you’ or a genuine ‘great job’ can go a long way in making your employees feel appreciated. It boosts their morale and encourages them to do better. However, sometimes, words are not enough. They are more impactful if accompanied by rewards and bonuses such as gift vouchers, cash coupons, or an all-expense paid holiday trip.
Sit with your entire team or organise a one-on-one to find out what they feel their workplace lacks. Encourage them to offer ideas and solutions on how the workplace can be made more positive and productive. Don’t be personally offended by their suggestions. View this as constructive feedback that can help your organisation to grow.
Encourage fun activities
Working day in and day out can make the workplace dull and boring if you let it. It won’t hurt to inject some fun into it. Encourage team lunches, birthday celebrations, game sessions, fun talks, etc. Bond over movies or drinks after working hours or hold family day celebrations in the office and invite family members to visit the workplace. When people have fun together, they feel connected. In an office, people belonging to different cultures, ethnicities, age groups and personalities work together. This kind of bonding helps people to accept group differences and forge better work relationships.
At the end of the day, everyone is striving towards a common goal - the SUCCESS of the team and the organisation. By setting the behavioural tone and raising the bar of the group, you have the opportunity to really make the difference.